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Snow Bike Revolution Where to try it, why youâ€™ll love it.
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January 2014 / Out There Monthly
InThisIssue p.5 / From the Editor
New Year’s Resolutions By Derrick Knowles
p.6/ photo of the month
Out There Monthly / January 2014 www.outtheremonthly.com
“Extreme Plein Air Event.”
p.6 / hike of the Month Mineral Ridge Loop By Holly Weiler
Shallan & Derrick Knowles Editor
Derrick Knowles Visual Editor
p.7 / Out there news p.8 / heath and fitness
Melting that Winter Snowman Belly By Ben Greenfield
p.9 / everyday Cyclist Wednesday Bike Fights
By Hank Greer
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p.12 / BackCountry Safety An Interview By Katie Botkin
p.13 / Winter Running
p.13 / Outdoor Living Winter Reading List
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p.14 / INW OUTDOOR CAlendar & 6-Month Training Calendar p.16 / On The mountain
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Katie Botkin, Ben Greenfield , Hank Greer, Derrick Knowles, Jamie Redman, Ammi Midstokke Brad Northrup, Holly Weiler Contributing photographers:
Shallan Knowles, Alan Lemire Dezi Nagyfy
p.10-11 / Snow Bike Revolution
By Jamie Redman
Jon Jonckers, Brad Naccarato, Amy Silbernagel McCaffree
Motivation Behind the Madness
Alpine Skiing/Boarding Special Section
p.17 / Last Page Talking Like A Skier
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Mailing Address: PO Box #5 Spokane, WA 99210 www.outtheremonthly.com, 509 / 822 / 0123 FIND US ON FACEBOOK Out There Monthly is published once a month by Out There Monthly, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. ©Copyright 2014 Out There Monthly, LLC. The views expressed in this magazine reflect those of the writers and advertisers and not necessarily Out There Monthly, LLC. Disclaimer: Many of the activities depicted in this magazine carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Rock climbing, river rafting, snow sports, kayaking, cycling, canoeing and backcountry activities are inherently dangerous. The owners and contributors to Out There Monthly do not recommend that anyone participate in these activities unless they are experts or seek qualified professional instruction and/or guidance, and are knowledgeable about the risks, and are personally willing to assume all responsibility associated with those risks.
Printed on 50% recycled paper with soy based inks in the Spokane Valley PROUD MEMBER OF
By Brad Naccarato -------------------------------------------------------------On the cover: Fat Bike Euphoria
// Photo by Alan Lemire
trail Mix: fat biking 101 • The first fat bikes were developed for winter travel in Alaska over two decades ago. •Over the past decade, fat bikes evolved from a specialty bike used for winter endurance events to mass produced models available at almost any bike shop. •It’s estimated that nearly 10,000 fat bikes were sold up until 2013, with a projected 20,000 to be sold by 2014. •Most people ride fat bikes on groomed, relatively flat or hilly terrain, including snowmobile trails, approved Nordic ski trails, forest roads, and other trails groomed or packed for fat bikes.
FromtheEditor: New Year’s Resolutions I stopped making formal new year’s resolutions (at least out loud) a long time ago, but I can’t deny that about this time each year I make promises to myself that I usually don’t keep. In the last issue of OTM, Brad Northrup recounted a button-busting incident that occurred while trying to squeeze unsuccessfully into his previous year’s ski pants in our new “Ski Bum Advice” column. I laughed out loud when I read it, but then, sadly, experienced a similar button incident myself later that day. Instant Karma? The button incident inspired me to rethink my resolution policy, and I started secretly scheming up self-improvement plans for the coming year. Of course then I had to ask myself: what could it hurt to
admit them to others? Is there a point in airing the fact that I want to lose a few pounds, grow and eat more vegetables from our garden this summer, run my first marathon, and read and write more fiction in 2014? Only that I’m probably more likely to make them happen then. Guess I’m back in the resolution game. We have a few New Year’s resolutions for Out There Monthly too. In 2014, we plan to take OTM to the next level, and we hope that you will enjoy (and participate) in the ride. What do we have in mind exactly? We will continue to expand our digital presence at OutThereMonthly.com by adding new web exclusive stories and outdoor activity-specific columns to our brand new website that we launched
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in October – check it out if you haven’t already. You can also now find OTM at more breweries, bakeries, pubs, coffee shops, outdoor gear shops, and other local businesses from Sandpoint to Spokane and Kennewick to Kettle Falls and in dozens of communities in between. We will continue to hone our distribution system this year, so drop us a line and share your suggestions. And we are bringing on new writers from throughout the greater Inland Northwest to provide more creative, authentic, inspiring outdoor adventure, travel, health and fitness, and outdoor lifestyle stories and articles to better represent and speak to our diverse outdoors community of athletes, parents, kids, weekend warriors, and every-day outdoor enthusiasts.
The positive feedback we have received from readers and advertisers since taking over the wheel at OTM this past summer has been tremendous. The compliments and encouragement have kept us motivated and inspired through many long days and nights. We had big shoes to fill and a reputation to live up to thanks to our friend and OTM founder Jon Snyder and are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Inland Northwest outdoors community in the year ahead! ------------------------------------------------------derrick knowles, editor email@example.com
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PhotoOfTheMonth Uphill Side of Lodge, 1 pm
Ugly Sweater Contest, Three Legged Race, Beer Tasting and BBQ, Volleyball, Snowman Building Contest, Face Painting, Two Inflatables from thefunguy.com, and Music by Jimmy Finn in the Loft Pub.
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“Melissa Compton sketches above Horseshoe Lake in the Scotchman Peaks Proposed Wilderness Area during Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness’ annual Extreme Plein Air event.”
january’s winner recieves a climbing class for two sponsored by Wild Walls.
Serving the Community Since 1976
Mineral Ridge Loop // by Holly Weiler This relatively easy loop hike is just over 3 miles in length and offers spectacular views of Lake Coeur d’Alene from vantage points high atop Mineral Ridge. The well-marked trail climbs through a mixed forest, including old-growth ponderosa pines bearing scars of past forest fires, gradually gaining the ridge through a series of switchbacks. Bear right at the first intersection; you’ll return via the left-hand trail as you complete the loop. Pack a lunch and enjoy the picnic shelter at Caribou Cabin, the highpoint at 2,790 feet, and take time to marvel at the mining dig sites along the route. Time the hike to arrive at Silver Tip Viewpoint around sunset, and bring binoculars to watch for eagles snatching fish
from the water far below. Pack a headlamp in case you linger too long. From Silver Tip, it’s a 1-mile descent back to the trailhead along the loop trail. Best for: Depending on temperatures, visitors may find this trail snow-free, even in winter. Check weather reports before you go; Yaktrax are recommended for icy conditions. Open to hikers and mountain bikers. Dog friendly with leash. Getting there: From Spokane, take I-90 east
Coeur d’Alene 208.664.2175 | Post Falls 208.262.0156
past Coeur d’Alene. Take Wolf Lodge exit 22
and turn right off the freeway to follow the south shoreline approximately 2 miles to the parking lot on the left side of the roadway.//
Randy Evans, photo by Doug Marshall
In loving memory of OTM Friend, Brian mcnelis // Photo: Shallan Knowles
Out There Monthly / January 2014
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OutThereNews Backcountry Film Fest Showings in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will be making stops in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene again this year, bringing some of the year’s best backcountry skiing and riding films and other creative, inspiring films that highlight the human-powered backcountry experience together under one roof. This year’s festival includes a diverse range of films including an epic trip across Mongolia in search of the elusive wolverine, the story of how a small community fought to save their beloved ski area, a poor man’s alternative to heli-skiing, a day in the life of an undercover ski bum and “Valhalla” – the latest creation from Sweetgrass Productions. The Coeur d’Alene festival showing ($7) will
be held at the Eagles Club (209 Sherman Ave.) on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The Spokane showing ($12 or $10 for students and Spokane Mountaineers members) is set for Friday, Jan. 31 at Spokane Community College in the Lair Auditorium (doors open at 6 p.m.). Door and raffle prizes will be up for grabs. Both nights nearly sold out last year, so show up early to score a seat. Festival events will benefit their local winter recreation and conservation group sponsors that are working to protect quiet winter recreation opportunities in the Inland Northwest. Additional information about the Spokane showing and trailer at: www.ibackcountry.org. Coeur d’Alene festival details at: www.idahoconservation.org.//
Spokane Now Home to the Second Geocaching Retail Store in the U.S. Having outgrown it’s location, 8-yearold e-commerce company Cache Advance, Inc is relocating it’s warehouse and opening a geocaching retail store in Spokane called the Cache Cave. Lisa Breitenfeldt started Cache Advance out of her basement back in 2005 and now joins Space Coast Geocaching Store in Florida as the second brick and mortar retail store in the U.S. The store celebrated it’s grand opening on Nov. 9. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt played throughout the world by adventure-seekers equipped with GPS devices or GPS enabled smartphones. Geocachers locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share their experiences online. Since the first geocache hide
in May 2000, the sport has grown exponentially to over 2.2 million geo-cache hides. Today there are over 6 million people engaged in some type of geocaching. Store staff is eager to welcome all geocachers, visitors and those wanting to know more about caching. Cache Advance has experienced steady growth along with geocaching. It manufactures and sells a complete line of geo-caching gear, including containers, GPS units, trackables and other geocaching accessories. The new location is on 2324 E Euclid (Suite 204) in Spokane (or you can geocache them at: N 47° 41.140 W 117° 22.526). Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. www.cache-advance.com//
“Tele Ned” Brings Passion for Telemark Skiing to the Inland NW Ned Ryerson (aka Tele Ned) is known throughout North America for his unbridled enthusiasm for telemark skiing and teaching the turn to new generations of skiers. Ned is a former telemark ski racer, Level III PSIA instructor, and Colorado Rocky Mountain School Telemark Team coach who has been teaching telemark skiing in Aspen and throughout the Rocky Mountains and beyond for decades. He teaches balance and simple moves that can get students making nearly effortless telemark turns quickly. He notes that a few of his former students have gone on to become professional tele skiers. This month, Tele Ned will be visiting the Inland Northwest for a two-day kids’ telemark clinic at 49 Degrees North. He says he devotes his energy to teaching kids to tele ski because they are the future of the sport. “It’s important to get kids engaged and help them see that they can do it. If they can smile and put one foot in front of another, they can be pretty successful at it,” he says. “A lot of kids with a racing or alpine background can pick it up pretty quickly.” Tele Ned has seen interest in telemark skiing spike in recent years, including an increase in younger skiers who see the tele turn as “kind of the alternative of alternatives.” He also credits the availability of better kids-gear. “Kids who turn out
for the clinic at 49 Degrees North are going to find out it’s really fun and accessible. I bring all the gear and help kids get fitted. My 7-year-old twins have been learning to tele ski since they were 4, and they can already ski all the same runs their friends ski on alpine gear.” Spokane tele convert Francis Neff (age 13) started learning to tele ski when he was 11 after watching his dad and a friend of his having so much fun making the signature knee-dropping turns down the mountain at Lookout Pass. “I noticed how much more of a flow you could have in a tele turn and thought it looked cool and had to try it out,” he says. Susan McBurney, one of the organizers of last year’s kids’ tele clinic at 49 Degrees North, recommends parents sign their kids up for a session on one or both days as early as possible to ensure availability. “It was a fantastic weekend last year and a pretty unique experience for the kids and families who were able to participate,” she says. The full-and half-day tele clinic sessions are open to kids ages 6-14 on the weekend of Jan. 11 and 12 at 49 Degrees North. Tele equipment is provided and lift ticket discounts are available. Details at (509) 935-6649 (ext. 610) or www. ski49n.com. Learn more about Tele Ned at www. telened.com.//
CrossFit Mêlée Opens New Gym in Hayden If you’re into outdoor activities and looking for the right indoor fitness program or gym in North Idaho to keep your body tuned for your outdoor adventures – or if you’re just interested in learning more about CrossFit – a new gym in Hayden is offering several opportunities to check out their workout programs and philosophy. CrossFit Mêlée, newly opened at 1378 Hayden Ave, is hosting it’s grand opening all day on Jan. 3 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Jan. 4. where you can check out several different workout demos to see and experience what CrossFit is all about. CrossFit Mêlée is also offering off-site outings, like rock climbing, snowshoeing, and other active outdoor sports every third Saturday to help connect the gym workouts with the outdoor sports many CrossFit regulars are passionate
about. CrossFit Mêlée owners Nick and Kimberly Cools chose to open their gym in the Hayden area because of the excellent outdoor opportunities and the many triathletes, active retirees, and other outdoor and fitness enthusiasts in the area. They saw a need for a friendly, positive, community-centric gym and decided to open one. “Hayden has that attitude and energy and was the perfect fit,” says Nick. They chose the name Mêlée to emphasize that life is full of conflict and confusion and that their workouts will help people become more self-aware, confident and better able to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. “Our motto is you vs. you,” says Nick. “Each time you walk in those doors, it’s you out to get your personal best, to go one step farther than you thought you could.” www.crossfit-melee.com//
Smoother Paths in the Future for the Centennial Trail
Generous donations and consistent support of local advocacy groups have really paid off for cyclists and runners pushing a baby jogger. Last month, the Friends of the Centennial Trail and the Riverside State Park Foundation collaborated to purchase a specialized asphalt repair machine, and donate it to Riverside State Park. Maintenance for the Centennial Trail and many park trails, especially root upheavals and crack sealing, is an ongoing battle, and renting a specialized machine for the job proved too costly and inefficient to do it frequently. However, the
span in between repairs proved equally costly because so many cracks in high-traffic areas on paved trails deteriorated so rapidly that they required more funds and resources than if they would have been fixed right away. “Both groups donated about $12,000 dollars towards this machine. We are very pleased that we’re in a position to contribute to this, and one of the main reasons we could support this venture is because we have great Adopt-A-Mile partners and members. They deserve a lot of the credit too,” says Karen Nielsen, Executive Chair for the Friends of the Centennial Trail.//
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HealthandFitness Melting that winter Snowman Belly A 30-Day Program for Anyone // By Ben Greenfield Despite what you’ve probably been led to believe, churning away like a rat on a treadmill is really not the best way to melt the snowman belly you built over the holidays, and can instead lead to the common cortisol and catabolic hormone release that accompanies excessive aerobic exercise. This can result in hormonal imbalances, fluid retention, overtraining and injury – and it’s why the folks who approach New Year’s fat loss by staying on a cardio machine for as long as possible are usually the ones who fail. Instead, with a strategic combination of dietary and exercise modification, you can lose fat without sacrificing your health, body or performance. And with the safe, healthy and effective guide
below, you can melt your snowman belly in a fraction of the time of your over-exercising friends. The 30-day rapid fat loss guide below is split into three separate 10-day cycles – the first 10 days will involve calorie restriction, intermittent fasting and fasted fat burning sessions. The next 10 days will add a slightly higher calorie intake and body weight training. And the final 10 days will round out the routine by adding high intensity intervals, weight training, and higher calorie intake. Are you ready? Roll up your sleeves, tighten your belt, and jump right in. Days 1-10: Burn Exercise: For the first 10 days, exercise is simple. For each of these 10 days, you will simply do a morning fasted fat burning session of 20-60 minutes. You get to choose the activity: light jogging, cycling, elliptical training, brisk walking or hiking, or any other type of easy exercise will suffice. Intensity is easy, aerobic and conversational. Days 11-20: Build Exercise: For this next phase, you’ll continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions exactly as you have done, but every other day
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Out There Monthly / January 2014
include a second afternoon or early evening exercise session consisting of body weight exercises and calisthenics. For example, a perfect body weight circuit would be: •Push-up variation: 15-20 reps •30-60 seconds calisthenics (jumping jacks, jump rope, running in place, side-to-side hops, etc.) •Squat variation: 15-20 reps •Repeat 30-60 seconds of calisthenics •Lunge variation: 15-20 reps per leg •Repeat 30-60 seconds of calisthenics
You can melt your snowman belly in a fraction of the time of your over-exercising friends.
Complete this circuit 4-6 times through with minimal rest. It should take you about 20-40 minutes. Days 21-30: Tone Exercise: Finally, in the third phase, you add higher intensity cardio intervals. Continue with the morning fasted fat burning sessions, but now replace afternoon or evening body weight sessions with a full-body, functional weight training session and high-intensity cardiovascular intervals. For example, you can do 1 set of 5 reps of heavy squats, 1 set of heavy overhead presses, 1 set of pull-ups and 1 set of weight lunges, and 1 hard 60-second cardio effort 4 times through. Once again, do these every other day while continuing to do the fat burning sessions every day. And that’s it! Within 30 days, you’ll begin to see your winter snowman belly melt away – and you can simply repeat this 30-day cycle throughout the year if you’d like to continue to get good results without overtraining. // Author Ben Greenfield has just finished writing “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life,” which you can find now at BeyondTrainingBook.com
EverydayCyclist Wednesday night bike fightS By Hank Greer
You are on one of two identical bicycles that are locked into identical trainers. Two identical bike computers are synchronized and the countdown begins. Three, two...(you stand up on the pedals, tensed and at the ready)...one, go! You and your opponent drop your heads and pull on the handlebars, hammering the pedals as hard as you can as if you are trying to keep up with freeway traffic. Holding onto the front wheel, and sometimes the handlebar, is someone helping to keep the bike steady as your Herculean efforts threaten to rock the bike right out of the trainer. There’s another countdown, and you hit the brakes when time is called and stop the rear wheel. The bike computers are compared and the person who traveled the farthest is declared the winner. It’s all over in the longest 60 seconds you’ll ever spend on a bike—unless you win. Wednesday Night Bike Fights are held at 8 pm on the first Wednesday of each month at Soulful Soups and Spirits, 117 N. Howard in Spokane. They’re put on by Lauren D’Arienzo of Soulful Soups and Chris Walmsley of The Bike Hub in downtown Spokane. This is not intended to be a wintertime, off-season, oddball cycling fad thing. D’Arienzo, an avid cyclist herself, says she will host the event as long as people turn out for it. The $10 entry fee includes two beers so you can carbo-load and hydrate (kinda sorta) before, during, or after your race. Or, if you win, races. It’s a single elimination tournament. Depending on the number of participants, the finalists could race up to four times. How serious was the racing last December 4th? Serious enough for Allison Chauvin and several others to compete in blue jeans, for
the riders bore down on the pedals and spectators yelled encouragement. In one of the firstround races, Phil Sandifur and John Martinek ended up in a tie. After a two-minute rest, they raced again, thankfully for only 15 seconds, and John was declared the winner. John and his son, Alex, both made it to the second round before they were overcome. Allison Chauvin came out on top of the four women who competed. John Kercher wore his time trial helmet into the third round where Nigel bested him. Meanwhile, Levi Guthmiller quietly and effectively eliminated his competitors, scoring just over a half mile of distance each time. He and Nigel, also a half-miler, faced off for the final. There was no trash talk; only quiet and intense concentration. Shirts came off, deep breaths were taken, and both men selected their starting gear. They swung their pedals backward to their starting positions, the computers were zeroed out, and they stood up on the pedals for the countdown. Starting off in a high gear, both of them strained through a couple of pedal strokes and quickly got up to speed, shifting into higher gears until they topped out. Spectators and defeated competitors yelled encouragement and both competitors responded. But there can be only one winner. Finally, time was called and Levi was announced as the winner. Out of breath and showing the wear of four races, both men shook hands and took a few breaths before easing off their bikes. The winners receive a medal of sorts, but there’s a catch that goes with it. The men’s and women’s winners – technically, I suppose, they are undefeated champions – each receive a bike chain to wear around their necks. A cassette
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Nigel Davies to sport boxer shorts, and for John Kercher to wear a skin-tight triathlete jersey along with an aerodynamic time trial helmet—backwards. While it is all in good fun, understating the efforts of the participants would be a great disservice to them. A minute doesn’t sound like much, but going all out for that amount of time is more taxing than you think. The time does not pass as quickly as you’d expect. It was not uncommon to hear a rider groan in disbelief and shake his head when “30 seconds!” was called. The intensity level in the place skyrocketed as
from a rear wheel hangs down as a medallion. The catch is that each winner returns the award with another bike part attached. Nigel, the November winner, zip tied a brake handle to it. Show up for the races on Jan. 8 (the 1st is a holiday) to see what Levi adds. And while you’re there, you might as well give it a shot and have some fun. Regardless of how you do there are no losers because you get to enjoy a couple of beers and friendly competition. Whether or not you race, cheer the racers on. They are working very hard for nothing more than bragging rights. //
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basis later this season. The venue would be at Leavenworth Ski Hill under the lights with limited days and times. The launch is likely to be in late January after the Bavarian Cup Nordic Race. The Methow Valley Sports Trails Association near Winthrop has some trails open to fat bikers. It has a policy similar to Schweitzer’s. Go to www. mvsta.com/winter-trails/fat-bike for the policy and current conditions. The Sun Mountain Lodge near Winthrop also has trails specifically groomed for fat bikes. More info and a map of those trails are available on the Sun Mountain Lodge website: www.sunmountainlodge.com. You can rent bikes at the Sun Mountain Ski Shop or at Methow Cycle and Sport.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Fat Biking 101:
remember the first time I saw a fat bike at a bike shop in Spokane about two and a half years ago. I asked about it and was told it was great for riding on sand at a beach. I looked at the price: $1,700. I picked it up and felt how heavy it was – 40 pounds! Lacking that “vision thing,” I could not see much of a future for spending that kind of money on a bike that heavy in Spokane, a place that doesn’t have a whole lot of beaches. A year ago, after going for a couple of rides, I learned how wrong I was. Fat bikes provide an awesome riding experience in the snow. But you don’t have to take my word for it. If you’re a cyclist, chances are you’ve already met one or more people singing the praises of fat bikes. More converts mean more stories, which mean more sales for local bike shops, and hopefully more trails in the future. Anyone following the Facebook pages or websites of our local bike shops has seen the notices listing the various fat bike makes and models, some of which are in short supply. Mike Gaertner, owner of Vertical Earth Bike Shop in Coeur d’Alene, has been carrying fat bikes for five or six years. He sold one a year until last year when six left the shop. As of the beginning of December, he has sold four. For Joe Brown, owner of Methow Cycle and Sport in Winthrop, last winter was a banner year for fat biking. He didn’t have enough bikes to meet the rental demand, and this year looks to be even better, with bike rental reservations going into March. Along with a group of volunteers, Brown grooms two sets of trails on nearby state land that each have about five miles of trails to ride on. 10
Out There Monthly / January 2014
Your Guide to Snowbiking in the Inland Northwest
As long as conditions are right, the wide tires and low tire pressure leave little more than tread marks on a groomed Nordic trail. Under a lot of conditions, a fat bike provides a smooth, flowing ride in the snow that beats any mountain bike. It’s still a workout, but it’s a far more satisfactory workout with much less frustration than that caused by narrower tires sinking into the snow. Trails that have a base – including snowmobile, approved Nordic, and fat-bike specific trails – provide a better ride than loose snow, but loose snow is not impossible to ride in either. Trails that have been partially packed by snowshoers or hikers can also be a good option. Regardless, I have yet to meet a fat bike owner who didn’t think their bike was a lot more fun than they expected.
Where to Ride a Fatty
you can ride depending on conditions. Mount Spokane State Park allows fat bikes on the multiuse trails, which they may be sharing with hikers, snowshoers or snowmobiles. Bikes are not allowed on the Nordic trails or in the alpine ski area. Around Coeur d’Alene, you have many locations in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Canfield Mountain has 25 miles of trails. Sometimes Mike Gaertner at Vertical Earth leads snowshoe hikes at Canfield to pack down snow and create a base on the singletrack so fat bikes can ride them. He also leads rides on snowmobile trails that you can access at 4th of July Pass, the top of Fernan Saddle, and at Hayden Creek.
Speaking of which, what trails can you actually ride a fat bike on in the winter? The humorous answer is just about any one you want. The real answer, though, is just about any one you want as long as it’s allowed and you follow the rules. A good place to begin is your local bike shop. A couple of them have shop rides during the winter.
According to Brian Anderson at Greasy Fingers Bikes and Repair in Sandpoint, there are about 150 miles of groomed trails in his area at Trestle Creek, Pack River, and McArthur Lake. And Priest Lake has over 400 miles of snowmobile trails. When riding on trails you share with snowmobiles, it’s recommended you use lights to make yourself more visible, and yield to the machines. You can hear them coming.
Spokane and Coeur d’Alene
Leavenworth and the Methow
If you are familiar with the trails near High Drive, Palisades Park, the Spokane River, Beacon Hill, and Riverside State Park, then you already know of some options near Spokane where
Over in central Washington, the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club currently does not allow fat bikes. Mark Milliette, General Manager, says The Club plans to allow fat tire biking on a trial
Ski resorts that have Nordic trails are also getting in on the action, but there are rules to abide by concerning sharing the trail and preventing damage to it. Schweitzer Mountain Resort not only allows fat bikes on some of it’s groomed trails, it also rents bikes, which provides an opportunity to try one without having to buy one first. Schweitzer requires each rider to have a daily pass or a Nordic season pass. Tires must be wider than 3.7 inches and inflated at no more than 10 psi. The staff asks you to stay off the trail under any of these circumstances: there are 3 inches of new snow, you’re leaving a rut deeper than one inch, you can’t ride a straight line, or you need to get off and push the bike. Bikes also must yield to all other users. You can view the complete policy and check current conditions here: www. schweitzer.com/mountain/snow-report.
49 Degrees North
Doug Elledge, Nordic Director at 49 Degrees North, says tthere havent been any inquiries about fat biking on their trails yet, but the staff has developed a policy in anticipation of any interest. They are allowing fat bikes to use the Nordic trails with some restrictions. The policy will be posted at the Nordic center yurt, including etiquette and conditions in which bikes will not be allowed, such as soft snow. With cooperation from the bike community, Elledge says there is no reason why this additional user group should not be welcomed to share the trails. The Nordic Center provides free parking and collects reasonable trail use fees. Season passes are also available.
Fat Bikers Unite
Along with bike shops, connecting with other fat bike enthusiasts is a good way to find places to ride and others to ride with. In our area, search Facebook for Northwest Fatbike, Idaho Panhandle Fat Bikers, and Fat Bike Kootenay. By the way, members of the Northwest Fatbike group are getting together in Winthrop for some riding and socializing on Jan 18-19. Check out their Facebook page for details: facebook.com/ northwestfatbike.//
Story By Hank Greer
Snow Bike Revolution Fat Bike Love "Down the hillside we careen, as reckless and carefree as happy children. I pedal my bike as fast as I can, legs like little motors, oblivious to the potential for disaster."
Photos: Alan Lemire. Top Right: Pedaling through the frozen wilds. Bottom: Fat Bikes, fat smiles.
t’s a balmy 11 degrees Fahrenheit down in the valley," Brian tells me over the phone. I’ve been on the mountain skiing in wind chills that would strike fear into the heart of Shackleton, and though I haven’t counted my fingers yet, I’m pretty sure my nose is gone. “I’m coming down,” I tell him as I assess my attire for biking appropriateness. This, of course, is a farce. Logic would tell us that riding a bike in meat cooler temperatures and snow is not appropriate at all. However, thanks to goose down and the ingenuity of companies like Gore and Surly, it is now impossible to consider biking a seasonal sport. Even in North Idaho. Thus I dress in no less than 14 layers of wool, fleece, down, Gore-Tex, Chap Stick, the token Siberian head gear and set out to meet Brian. Brian Anderson is no rookie at riding bikes. Snow, dirt, pavement, bar sidewalk – Brian has not only done it all, but I’m guessing he’s got a bike for every type of terrain. In fact, I’m pretty sure he opened his own bike shop just to finance his riding habit. Upon entering his Greasy Fingers shop in Sandpoint, it’s pretty clear this place is owned by a guy who loves riding and the community it serves. Brian must be feeling rather kind today because he’s decided we’ll attempt our fat bike ride on the forgiving terrain of a local wildlife refuge. He has two Surly fat bikes loaded in the back of his truck, the shop dog, Shadow, and a hat almost as rad as mine. Brian tells me that fat bike riding is synonymous with snowbiking and that it is “aerobic.” While I always find bike riding aerobic, I recall that Brian’s last bike ride with me involved bar hopping in a toast costume and possibly some shots of tequila. It occurs to me that the flat terrain choice was likely for my benefit and not his. It is a crisp day with bluebird skies. The wind in the valley is far less (i.e. my Buff isn’t freezing solid to the remains of my nose), and the snow is a powdery, sparkling white. I have “Winter Wonderland” stuck in my head as we get ready to mount our bikes. That, and fantasies of well-earned hot toddies. I hop on my Surly. The bike, with just a few pounds of tire pressure, bounces a little under my weight. It has a shifter that is easy to operate with a fleece liner and a giant mitten no doubt designed for an Everest summit. I set my foot on the pedal, push down, and am instantly transported into a parallel universe of invincible snow joy. My grin is so wide my teeth freeze. Fat biking gets its name from the fat tires (usually requiring a frame designed for such a large tire). They are wide, knobby, and use low pressure to aid in stability, buoyancy on snow, and traction. It feels kind of like riding a bike made of bubble gum. I was sure there should be some Mario Bros music in the background. It’s like being in a happy, pastel-colored video game where you rack up points by riding over frozen puddles. We head out on a snow-covered road and I immediately notice how stable the bike feels. It doesn’t slip around, and it doesn’t notice branches, bumps, or ice. It’s like a manpowered ATV, rolling over and through everything without complaint. The arctic temperatures soon become moot because, even at 6 mph, I’m breaking a sweat. We ride along the edge of a field, bordered by leafless birch trees and the frozen edges of a winding river. Shadow bounces around like a puppy, oblivious to her age. The sound of the tires crunching the snow beneath us is all we can hear. Brian looks like some mountain hermit man with a beard that would make any pubescent adolescent jealous. In fact, I’m rather envious because I’m sure his face is warmer than mine. Between his own Siberian
hat, old school Ray-Bans, and impressive mane, he looks like the epitome of winter fat biking. And a burly Russian snow assassin. “When I ride my fat bike, I find myself giggling and smiling like a kid on his first bike,” he says as we happily crank past some pines. I blink. Do bad-ass biker dudes with tattoos giggle? I suppose if they fat bike they do. I can’t stop grinning as I pedal over snow, open fields, and crushed ice. The bouncy feel of the bike is so stable and sturdy, I’m convinced I could rip down anything in a Kamikaze descent and bounce off the ground as if it were Jell-O. Suddenly I am sure we can ride these bikes on ANYTHING like they’ve got magic powers, and I’ve got a super hero cape. Super Mario’s got nothin’ on me. We puff up a hill, because any incline on a fat bike is going to be a puff. It’s not impossible or uncomfortable by any means, it’s just a heavier bike with a bit more resistance. If you can ride a bike at all, you can ride these babies. The time goes by too fast. The sun is already setting behind the pine-covered hills to the west. I’m afraid the temperatures will drop so fast that we’ll have to pull a Skywalker move and crawl inside the belly of a warm carcass to survive. We roll to a stop at the crest of the hill and turn our bikes around. It’s all downhill from here. And now the fun really begins. Down the hillside we careen, as reckless and carefree as happy children. I pedal my bike as fast as I can, legs like little motors, oblivious to the potential for disaster. For I am on a fat bike and thus immortal in this snowy world. We roll over all obstacles without regard, chilly wind lapping at our smiles and glove-covered fingers. Like some posse of wild snow cowboys, we fly around forested corners, lean into the hills, and come to an easy canter when we reach the fields again. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun. Brian’s shop has a floor full of fat bikes that could use a good home. I briefly consider my growing family of bicycles. Clearly, my garage has space for at least one more.//
Story By Ammi Midstokke Images by Alan Lemire January 2014 / Out There Monthly
BackcountrySafety An Interview with Longleaf Wilderness medicine owner jason luthy By Katie Botkin
What’s the most important practice when it comes to backcountry safety? In brief, good judgment, which in turn comes from education and experience. Jason Luthy strongly recommends that before you set out on a sidecountry or backcountry jaunt, even if it’s just something like heading out of bounds at your local ski resort, you should ask yourself, “how you are going to be aware of the risks that could happen, prior to things happening?” Luthy is one of North Idaho’s resident experts on wilderness safety. An avid all-season outdoorsman, he is a certified EMT with a master’s degree in Experiential Education, which he puts to good use designing outdoor courses. He is the co-chair of the Idaho section of the American Alpine Club and the program director and owner of Longleaf Wilderness Medicine, which hosts various workshops for the prevention and treatment of backcountry injury and illness. Avalanche Education Specific to winter safety and off-piste recreation would be avalanche education. Avalanche risk depends on the degree of a slope, among a host of other things. Up to a certain grade, the more steep the slope is, the more risky it is. “Once the slope is very steep, it doesn’t hold snow or the snow is stable. Basically, the slopes that are fun to ski are the biggest avalanche risk,” says Luthy.
There are also snow condition considerations, which depend not only on the current weather patterns and the topmost layer of snow, but the freezing and thawing patterns of the snowpack underneath. Each winter, Sandpoint-based Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education partners with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) to provide courses geared towards staying safe in the backcountry, whether you’re snowshoeing, snowmobiling or splitboarding. Luthy says that AIARE provides some of “the best avalanche education in the country.” Rock, Ice, and Rope Safety A well-known benefit of membership with the rock and ice climbing oriented American Alpine Club (AAC) is the availability of accident insurance for rescue, but the organization has also begun a campaign to provide education to people spending time in mountain environments, says Luthy. An upcoming AAC ropes safety workshop designed for climbers that is free and open to the public is set for Sandpoint on March 2 at the Sandpoint Rock Gym. Luthy is also in the process of scheduling a workshop in Spokane. These “Know the Ropes” workshops will cover AAC best practices, including the basics of lowering and rappelling. The AAC conceived the workshop because in
climbing environments, lowering and rappelling are leading causes of accidents that are often due to something as simple as miscommunication and incorrect assumptions. For example, Luthy describes a scenario that could happen even on a casual day of sport climbing at the crags: “After cleaning an anchor, people lean back, and they think they’re on belay,” says Luthy. However, if the belayer on the ground assumed the climber was going to rappel and stopped belaying, “the climber would fall to the ground.”
a similar skillset,” says Luthy. There’s also the possibility of meeting activity partners through a facility such as a climbing gym. “The gym provides an environment with less objective risk where you can get to know people prior to heading into remote environments.” It’s safer “traveling with people who have similar goals as you,” says Luthy. Consider if you’re venturing into the backcountry with someone who wants to cover as much ground as possible, vs. someone who wants to take it easy. If you “trav-
If you “travel with like-minded people,” you’ll have a safer experience. Finding the Right Backcountry Partners Luthy suggests that whatever activity you’re doing, you take people with you. Finding people to go with you if you’re inexperienced can be tough. Luthy suggests getting hooked in with an outing organization such as the Spokane Mountaineers, another organization providing education. “Going through a program like the Spokane Mountaineers, you’d know they have
el with like-minded people,” you’ll have a safer experience. That way, says Luthy, “everybody has the same skillset, but they also have the same idea of the risk they’re willing to take on.” The “takeaway from all of it” in backcountry safety, says Luthy, is understanding the terrain you’re traveling in, year-round – whether that’s being aware that you’re in an area with a risk of lightening in the summer or understanding the potential for snow and ice-related injury in the winter. //
Donut Dash relay race Cider Trail to lunch and cider Free 45-minute ski lessons Back-country ski clinic Back-Cider trail trek Sunday Jan. 19, 2014, 9:00 - 4:00 Mt. Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park
Skijoring clinic ... and more!
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER AT SPOKANENORDIC.ORG/WINTERFEST
Out There Monthly / January 2014
motivation behind the madness
Winter REading List
The sidewalks are knee-deep in snow, the sun set hours ago, and evening commuters are sliding around every icy corner. Yet for a certain athletic population, these near-arctic conditions pose a unique appeal. What is it that keeps Northwest runners from putting away their running gear and hibernating all winter? When it’s cold, dark, and icy outside, what inspires athletes to get out the door? I called up a slew of local runners and asked them to share their secrets of sub-zero motivation. Chris Morlan, founder of the Spokane Distance Project, explains why he chooses to train outside: “To witness firsthand what’s right in this world, that’s why.... Have you ever experienced your neighborhood in the dark with Christmas lights on the houses, no cars in the streets, and uncommon urban silence? Pretty neat.” Heather LeFriec, an accomplished racer, echoes this sentiment: “There is nothing more peaceful than having the roads to yourself. Running in the dark can be calming and relaxing, it helps me find my center. ” And besides, she adds, “You can throw on any crazy running outfit and not worry about anyone seeing you!” Fortunately, Northwest runners don’t have to wait until May to lace up their racing shoes; there are several opportunities to test your speed throughout the winter. “On those cold dark days when I don’t really feel like running, I just think of those winter races to motivate me out the door,” says LeFriec. But racing or no racing, I quickly noticed a theme among all these snow-happy runners: the passion and insanity of winter running is meant to be shared. One runner had a long-standing date
Mountain as metaphor; snow as symbol. Reading good literature for après ski relaxation or while nestled at home on a long winter night is a healthy indulgence. It forces you to slow down, consider imagery. Five local writers, whose books are worthy of winter reading, share their recommendations with OTM. Unlike a summer beach book list, these are better suited for fireside contemplation.
Local Runners Share Winter Running Secrets // By Jamie Redman with a running partner, and another triathlete was inspired by her dog’s boundless enthusiasm for snow. Many recreational athletes braved the elements with a social running club – there are several local groups that continue to meet throughout the winter. And this year, Fleet Feet Spokane is even sponsoring the “Winter Warriors,” a winter incentive program to motivate runners to stay active through the cold months. Check out their weekly running schedule on www.fleetfeetspokane.com. Aside from fun, fitness, and bragging rights over your gym-going friends, winter running also offers an obvious benefit come springtime: speed. Want to impress your friends with your running prowess at Bloomsday? Then log those January miles! Andrew Vandine knows a little bit about winter training – this 16-year-old competes for North Central’s state champion cross-country team. Needless to say, Andrew and his teammates are pounding the pavement – err, snow – all winter long. But why outside? Why not on a treadmill? It’s simple: running in snow strengthens the stride and the runner. Besides, says Vandine, “I want to be the best runner I can be for my team…. Days off are days lost.” I polled members of Spokane’s Flying Irish Running Club for some winter training advice, and they were ready with all sorts of arctic-running wisdom: Don’t forget a hat and gloves. Wear tights “if you’re not a polar bear.” Dress in bright, reflective gear. Leave the headphones at home. Tread carefully on ice. And most importantly, make sure your house or car key is attached “securely.” It’s not fun shivering for three hours in 15F weather waiting for a locksmith. Believe me, they know from experience. //
getting out the door is the hardest part - you won’t regret it.
Put these on your calendar and motivate yourself to get out the door: Winter Races
• Hangover Handicap Run (CdA, Jan. 1) • Frostbite Footrace 5k (Deer Park, Jan. 25) • Freeze Your Fanny 5k (Lewiston, Jan. 26) • Partners in Pain 5k (Spokane, Feb. 9) • Lost River Triathlon (Mazama, March 1) • Yakima Hard Core Running Club’s Winter Racing Series (3-5 miles; Jan-Feb.) • Pullman Winter Ultra Series (25-50k; Jan-Feb.)
• Bloomsday Road Runners Club (multiple days) • Flying Irish (Thursdays) • South Hill Running Club (Tuesdays) • NextIT (Tuesdays) • Method Juice (Wednesdays) • Fleet Feet Sports Winter Warriors (Mondays) • Manito Running Club (Saturdays)
Local Writer Recommendations // By Amy Silbernagel McCaffree “We Live in Water” (Harper Perennial, 2013) is his latest book – a collection of 13 short stories set in Spokane and elsewhere in the Northwest. He recommends two poetry books: Maya Jewell Zeller’s “Rust Fish” and Laura Read’s “Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral.” “Both are lovely and show writers with great voices, rich with images and stories about growing up in the Northwest,” he says. Shawn Vestal, author of the short-story collection
Fire for the feet, Poetry for the soul
Spokane Poet Laureate Thom Caraway, author of “The Visitor’s Guide to North Dakota” (Finishing Line Press, 2007), recommends “Winter Tenor,” a poetry collection by Kevin Goodan, who grew up in Montana and now lives in Idaho. “Goodan’s poems are like a good winter day: crisp, sharp, breath-taking,” says Caraway. “Relentless and beautiful, these poems will echo through the long nights and keep you in good company.” EWU Writing Professor Jonathan Johnson has written two poetry books, “Mastodon 80% Complete” (Carnegie Mellon, 2001) and “The Land We Imagined for Ourselves” (Carnegie Mellon, 2010). His poems typically include nature imagery and evoke landscapes with personal connections. North Idaho is the primary setting for his memoir, “Hannah and the Mountain: Notes Toward a Wilderness Fatherhood” (University of Nebraska Press, 2005). “Rick Bass’ book “Winter: Notes from Montana” renewed my relationship to the woods and mountains I’d loved since I was a child,” says Johnson about his recommended reading pick. “In a chronicle form reminiscent of Thoreau’s ‘Walden,’ Bass composed ‘Winter’ as a journal during his first winter as a young man in remote northwest Montana. More than any other, the book taught me to see my own beloved North Idaho landscape anew. Indeed, it changed the course of my life in the way that only the right work of art at the right time can. Something hauntingly familiar and necessary in Bass’ vivid joy and reverential physicality sent me back to Idaho, inspired me to build a cabin there, and shaped my understanding of myself, my writing, and the natural world. Even now, years later, I think I still owe him a little for what it’s like for me to walk in the woods when it snows.” Jess Walter is revered for his fiction’s wry humor.
“Godforsaken Idaho” (Little A/New Harvest, 2013) and columnist for The Spokesman-Review, recommends “Boneland” by Nance Van Winckel, a book of linked stories. “Van Winckel’s stories take up the history of a Spokane woman and her family –with a particular connection to a Montana ranch where rich archeological artifacts are being harvested – in a style that is radically and satisfyingly inventive,” he says. “The stories come from different points across a span of decades, but by the end of “Boneland,” Van Winckel has assembled the story of a family that has a novelistic wholeness and sweep. One of my very favorite Spokane works of fiction.” Poet Maya Jewell Zeller – whose poems from her first book, “Rust Fish” (Lost Horse Press, 2011), are set in the Pacific and Inland Northwest — recommends three books, each with its own compelling winter tie-in. “Marilynne Robinson’s novel ‘Housekeeping’ because it is creepy in the beautiful way that the Inland Northwest can be creepy/beautiful in winter. And because it reminds us that there are many ways of living, and because many of our winter excursions often end in a warm house, something for which we should be daily grateful,” says Zeller. “Connie Voisine’s book of poems ‘Cathedral of the North,’ because ‘Glaciers dragged their ribs/ against the mountains creating/ and the pines grew extreme, black knives against a moon’ (from ‘Invisible City/ In the Beginning’), and because the book brings a loveliness and quiet into the chill of a northern Maine winter. Laura Read’s ‘Instructions for My Mother’s Funeral’ because her poetry, based in Spokane, will take you on a narrative tour of some of our strange common history; and because when you’re out and about in town, you could run into the author.” // January 2014 / Out There Monthly
OutdoorCalendar Full events calendar at www.outtheremonthly.com CLIMBING (Ongoing) Vertical Introduction. When: Tuesdays
and Thursdays 6 – 8 p.m., Saturdays 4 – 6 p.m. Where: Wild Walls 202 W. 2nd Ave., Spokane. In this class you will learn the fundamentals to climb indoors: fitting the harness, knot tying, and proper belay technique. This class (or previous experience and passing belay test) is a prerequisite for top roping in our facility. Ages 12+, $35. Info: (509) 455-9596.
(Ongoing) Introduction to Lead Climbing. When:
Last two Tuesdays of the Month 4 -6 p.m. Where: Wild Walls. For climbers looking to further their climbing ability and increase the options available to them, lead climbing class will prepare you for the world of sport climbing. With an emphasis on safety, you will learn proper technique for both lead belaying and lead climbing, as well as helpful strategies for efficient sport climbing. Experience required, $75. Info: (509) 455-9596
(Ongoing Mondays & Wednesdays) Spider Monkeys Climbing Club. When: 5 – 7 p.m. Where: Wild Walls. For kids ages 4 – 10 years. Please call ahead. Come climb and meet new friends. Info: (509) 455-9596.
BIKING (Ongoing) Belles and Baskets. Whatever style
your cycle, join other Spokane women for no-drop rides, treats, and friendship. Info: (509) 951-4090, facebook.com/bellesandbaskets.
(Ongoing) BOMB Mountain Bike Rides. When: Varies. Where: Spokane Area. Spokane BOMB (Believers On Mountain Bikes) is a non-denominational Christian group leading rides in the Spokane area April-October. Everyone welcome, helmets required. Info: www.spokanebomb.com (First Wednesdays) Bike Fights. When: 8 p.m.
Where: Soulful Soups & Spirits 117 N. Howard. 60 seconds to ride your heart out on a bike trainer. $10 to enter. Prizes! Info: (509) 459-1190.
ADD YOUR EVENT TO OTM’S NEW ONLINE CALENDAR AT WWW.OUTTHEREMONTHLY.COM (Ongoing Saturdays) Indoor Bike Group Ride. Where: Terra Sports Bike Shop, Coeur d’Alene. Bring your bike and trainer or rent either. Great opportunity to meet new cyclists in the area. This is a casual group of bike enthusiasts that want to keep the tires rolling thru the winter. Road, Mountain, Hybrid. Everyone welcome. Info: (208) 765-5446
(January 18-19) Northwest Fatbike Riding Group Social Ride. Where: Winthrop. Get together to
ride and socialize with members of the Northwest Fatbike group. Info: www.facebook.com/northwestfatbike.
(January 26) Turnbull Wildlife Refuge Hike. When: 9:30 a.m. Where: Turnbull Headquarters. From Turnbull Headquarters, hike the auto tour road. About six miles. Alternate meeting place at Safeway in Cheney. Optional lunch afterward at Gatto’s Pizza in Cheney. Info: www.InlandNorthwestTrails.org
RUNNING (Ongoing) Winter Warrior. When: Tuesdays at 5:45
p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. Where: Monterey Cafe (Tuesday) and Method Juice (Wednesday). Winter Warrior is a winter incentive program for all running levels to help motivate you to stay active in the winter months. Join the program for $20 and attend the group runs, themed runs and seminars. You’ll earn points along the way. Based on the number of points you’ve earned at the end of the program you will receive various running items (socks, shirts, etc). Your points will be tracked and posted at the end of the program. Info: fleetfeetspokane.com or (509) 328-4786. Kick off to Winter Warrior will be a Pancake Fun Run on November 29, at Fleet Feet Sports Spokane.
(January 25) Bundle-up Run. When: Noon to 5 p.m. Where: Wenatchee. Break out of the winter doldrums by taking part in this second-annual Bundle-Up 5K run and walk in Wenatchee, held in conjunction with Wenatchee Winterfest Beer Garden. Info: www.runwenatchee.com or (509) 3870051. Cost $10 (January 25) Frostbite Footrace. When 8:30 a.m. Where Community Arts Center, Deer Park. Info: www.CityOfDeerParkWA.com
YOGA (Ongoing) Intro to flow yoga. When: Monday 8
p.m. Where: Wild Walls. Classes are included with membership, or drop in for for single or pass rates.
(Ongoing) Yoga for Back Care. When: 9 a.m. Friday or noon on Monday. Where: North Pines Yoga. A yoga class focused on balance and core work to deliver endurance to your spine. Info www.northpinesyogapilates.com or (509) 928-1400.
SKIING, SNOWSHOEING AND WINTER EVENTS (January 2) Chicks on Sticks. When: 9:30 - 11:30
a.m. Where: Icicle Trails at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. Participants can skate, snowshoe or classic ski, whichever they prefer. Timing is optional so if you want to race you’ll get a bib number. Register online by Jan. 20 to receive the event shirt. Prize given to “Best Dressed Chick.” Refreshments will be provided and lots of raffle prizes. Info: www.skileavenworth.com.
(January 4) Night Skiing Food Drive. Where:
HIKING (On-Going) Wed & Sun Hobnailer Hikes. When: Varies. Where: Varies. Join Hobnailer hiking club for weekly 6-8 mile hikes in the Spokane area. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org or (509) 456-0250 (Jan 4) Spokane River Volkswalk. When: 9 a.m. 14
Where: Deaconess Hospital. Wander downtown and along the river for 6 miles with the Lilac City people. Info: www.InlandNorthwestTrails.org or (509) 456-0250.
Out There Monthly / January 2014
49 Degrees North. Nighttime is a great time to be at 49° North! Four nights this season illuminate the mountain after dark. Several well-lit runs on both the upper and lower mountain will be waiting for you and your family to enjoy. Cost is $4 and at least two cans of food. Info: www.ski49n.com.
SIXMONTHTRAININGCALENDAR RUNNING (February 9) Partners in Pain 5K. When: 10
a.m. Where: West Central Community Center. Info: www.brrc.net
(April 27) Spokane River Run. When: 7:45
a.m. Ranging from 50K to 5K. Whether you are considering trail racing for the first time or are an experienced runner, You’re promised a rewarding race in a beautiful environment. Right in the midst of Riverside State Park and minutes from downtown Spokane is a small piece of trail running paradise. Info: wwwspokaneriverrun.com (May 4) Bloomsday. When: 9 a.m. Lilac Bloomsday Run held in Spokane features over 50,000 runners, joggers, and walkers. Info: www.bloomsdayrun.org.
(May 31) Purplestride. When: 9 a.m. - noon.
5k Fundraising run and walk to fight pancreatic cancer and create awareness. Cost: $25. Info: purplestride.org/inlandnw or (509) 990-9919
(June 8) Red Devil Challenge Trail Run. When:
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Where: Wenatchee National Forest. The running trails dissect beautiful glades of Ponderosa pine and grasses; cuts through cooler, darker stands of Douglas Fir with views of the Enchantments, Mission Ridge and other views in the Cascades. Info: runwenatchee.com or (509) 378-0051
MARATHONS (February 22) Third Annual Tri Cities Half Marathon. When: 8 a.m. Where: Jon Dam Plaza.
Located in the heart of wine country this half marathon has accurate timing, t-shirts, post race celebration and live music. Info: usrahalf.sportngin.com
(April 27) Spokane River Run. When: 7:45 a.m. Where: Riverside State Park, Spokane. 5K, 10K, 25K and 50K, age divisions. Register online or find more info: www.SpokaneRiverRun.com
(May 10) Horse Lake Half Marathon. When: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Where: Horse Lake Reserve in the Wenatchee Foothills. The reserve is known for its wildflowers and stunning views of the North Cascades and the Wenatchee River. Info: runwenatchee.com or (509) 387-0051 (May 25) Coeur d’Alene Marathon. The Coeur
d’Alene Marathon, Half Marathon, and MyHealth 5k fun run. Info: http://www.cdamarathon.com/
(June 1) Windermere Marathon. When: 7 a.m. Full or Half Marathon. Info: http://windermeremarathon.wordpress.com/
CYCLING (April 13 & 14) Spokane Bike Swap & Expo. When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. The Spokane Bike Swap & Expo is a one-stop shop to find great deals and get ready for bike season. This is the region’s only biking and biking equipment event featuring hundreds of new and used bikes. Info: www.spokanebikeswap.com or (509) 475-7674. Cost: $5
(April 26) Lilac Century Bike Ride. Where:
Spokane Falls Community College. 100-mile ride and 50-mile ride along the west slope of the Spokane River, the Long Lake area, and through the West Plains of Spokane. Start, finish and packet pick-up. Info: www.teamfischbach.com
(May 17) Tour de Cure to Stop Diabetes.
Where: Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Recieve great support out on the routes and enjoy all the food, beverages and entertainment the resort has to offer.
winter Events (February 1) Western Snow Shoe Roundup. When: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Where: Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, Sandpoint. Sanctioned as a Western Regional Qualifier for the 2014 United States Snowshoe Association National Championships in Vermont. 5k and 10k distances, competitive and noncompetitive divisions–open to everyone. On line, mail in, or race day registration. Info: westernpleasureranch.com or (208) 946-1455.
(February 8) Winthrop Ski Derby. A new race organized by MVNC at the Sun Mountain trail system, Chickadee Trailhead. Skiers can choose either 16 or 32 km distance, both classic technique. The significant elevation changes of the 32 km race will give the event a very different flavor from most ski loppets. Info: methowvalleynordic.com (February 16) Doggie Dash. When: 9:15 a.m.
Where: Winthrop Town Trailhead. This hugely fun, spectator-favorite race involves dog-owner pairs skiing together in costume with a leash around a short loop at the Winthrop Town Trailhead. All proceeds benefit dogs and cats in need. Info: methowvalleynordic.com
(February 22) Special Olympics Polar Plunge Liberty Lake. When: TBD. Take a dip in the
icey waters across Washington State and be a part of the “coolest” event of the year! Help raise funds and win prizes in support of Special Olympics Washington. Info: www. specialolympicswashington.org.
Have an Event You Would Like to List? // Please visit www.outtheremonthly.com and click “Add Event” under the “Outdoor Calendar” tab to get your events listed online and considered for the monthly print magazine calendar. To be considered for the print calendar, events MUST be entered by the 20th of the month to be listed in the following month’s issue. Please follow the instructions for submitting an event using the web form.
OutdoorCalendar (January 10) Downhill Divas. When: 9:30 a.m. Where: Lookout Pass. This specialty women’s ski program has been designed with an emphasis on camaraderie and ski improvement in a fun, friendly and exciting group atmosphere. Participants quickly boost their confidence and meet new friends in a supportive and social environment. The Downhill Divas groups are led and taught by top female ski instructors who create a safe, fun, learning environment for everyone. Info: skilookout.com/downhill-divas. (January 10 and 25) Shack Snow Party. Where: Silver Mtn. Resort. Ski and board movies, prizes and a party in Noah’s Loft. Info: silvermt.com. (January 11) Free Ski School. When: Saturday
Morning’s starting January 11 through March 15. Where: Lookout Pass. Classes start for beginners at 10 a.m. intermediates at 11:30 a.m. Registration is online, equipment not included. Hop on the bus and join the fun! Info: skilookout.com/famous-free-ski-school.
favorite female instructors, lunch, video analysis, and at the end of the day enjoy wine and cheese as well as a relaxing massage. On-snow lesson times from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $99! Info: www.mtspokane.com or 509238-2220 x215
(January 15-18) The North Face Canadian Open Freeskiing Championships. Where: Red Mountain
Resort. Show off your freesking skills (open for ages 7-18) or just come watch (and ski). Info: redresort. com.
(January 18) Northern Lights at Schweitzer. Torchlight parade down Jam Session, massive fireworks show in the village, and music and partying up in Taps afterwards. Info: Schweitzer.com
(January 19) Spokane Nordic WinterFest. Where: Mt. Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park. Join in a celebration of skiing, snow and hopefully sunshine at Spokane Nordic WinterFest, a day of fun events for all ages and ski abilities. Pick your favorite event, or take in the whole day. Free event, donations welcome. Info: spokanenordic. org/winterfest.
(January 19) Avalanche Awareness Day. Where:
Whitewater Ski Resort. Nelson Search and Rescue will be on site to help educate about avalanche rescue. Also includes avalanche rescue demo and beacon olympics to test your transceiver skills. Info: skiwhitewater.com.
(January 11) Winter Trails Day. Where: Schweitzwer Mountain Resort. Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s contribution to Winter Trails Day includes free trail access for the snowshoe trails and the Nordic ski trails. In addition, there are multiple hosted snowshoe hikes going throughout the day. Plus there will be free beginner rentals and lessons at the roundabout. Free, pass required, available at the resort. Info: www. schweitzer.com or 208-255-3081
(January 19) 70’s Party in Taps at Schweitzer.
(January 12) Western, Winter, Warm-Up: 5k and 10k Race. Where: Western Pleasure Guest Ranche
(January 26) Bavarian Brews/Brats & Music Fest. Where: Lookout Pass. Ugly Sweater contest, three legged race, beer tasting and BBQ, volleyball, snowman building contest, wife carying contest, Live music and brats on the grill. Info: skilookout.com or (208) 744-1301
North. Come out and try the new gear from many local shops. After you demo a few items, relax in Boomtown Bar or take part in the Winterfest activities. Info: www.ski49n.com.
near Sandpoint. Tour through scenic meadow ski trails (classic or skate). $15 for adults, $5 for kids. Info: westernpleasureranch.com.
(January 11-12) Kid’s Telemark Ski Clinic. When: half day or full day sessions. Where: 49 Degrees North. Clinic for kids age 6-14 interested in taking up telemark skiing. The clinic will be run by ‘Tele Ned’, A PSIA-certified telemark ski instructor from Aspen, Colo. Discounted lift ticket for all those that participate. Telemark ski gear will be provided with clinic sign up. Info: www. ski49n.com or (509) 935-6649. (January 12-18) Learn to Ski & Snowboard Week. Where: Whitewater Ski Resort. Learn
to ski or board at Whitewater and hang out in Nelson for a week (or a few days). Info: skiwhitewater.com. (January 15) Mt Spokane Ladies Day. When: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park. The all-day Ladies Day program includes a lift ticket and rental, a continental breakfast, 4 hours of personalized instruction from Mt. Spokane’s
Part of the MLK weekend of festivities. Info: Schweitzer.com.
(January 23-26) Rossland Winter Carnival. Where: Rossland, B.C. Family fun and wild times on the streets and slopes of Rossland: Red Mtn. skiing, rail jam, fireworks, bob sled races, lives music, ice sculptures, parade, and more. Info: rosslandwintercarnival.com
(January 26) Free Cross Country Ski Lessons. Where: Clubhouse of Deer Park Golf Course. Info: www. CityOfDeerPaarkWA.com
(January 31) Toyota Ski Free Day at Schweitzer. Drive your Toyota to Schweitzer Mountain Resort and receive a free lift ticket. Simple as that! Info: Schweitzer.com.
OTHER (January 11-12) Wilderness First Aid. Where: Sandpoint. During the LWM Wilderness First Aid courses, you will learn how to assess patients, treat common injuries and illness, provide longterm patient care, and decide when to call for more help. You’ll learn strategies for prevention of injuries, as well as hands-on skills like splinting, wound care, and managing spine injuries. After the course, you’ll feel more prepared to handle
medical emergencies, treat minor problems, and improvise solutions when help is not available. Info:www.longleafmedical.com or (208) 274-3596. Cost: $150.
(January 13) Backcountry Film Festival. When: 6
p.m. Where: Lair Auditorium, Spokane Community College. Winter is full of ups and downs so why not embrace winter and the UP? Celebrate the fun and beauty of winter with your friends at the ninth annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival. Come early for the best seats, door prizes and our amazing raffle!! Info: www.ibackcountry.org
(January 17) Backcountry Film Festival. When:
7 p.m. Where: Coeur d’Alene Eagles Club. Enjoy an evening of outdoor films highlighting the beauty and fun of the winter backcountry experience. Door and raffle prizes and no-host bar. $7 tickets sold at the door. Sponsored by the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness and the Idaho Conservation League. Info: IdahoConservation.org or (208) 265-9565.
(January 27) Paddling the Green River. When:
7 - 8 p.m. Where: Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters. Debbie Pierce shares her experiences during a 2013 kayak adventure with girlfriends on the Green and Colorado rivers in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Amazing canyon scenery and tales of fun and adversity with frequent thunderstorms, torrential rain and flash floods. Info: (509) 209-3066.
(January 11) Demo Day. Where: 49 Degrees
(January 10) Jackass Day. Where: Silver Mtn. Resort. Help celebrate Silver’s 45th birthday in Noah’s Loft. Info: silvermt.com.
January 2014 / Out There Monthly
On The Mountain | Sponsored by:
Spirit of a mountain
49 degrees North by Derrick Knowles When people talk about 49, they often use words like “family friendly” or “laid back.” I know what they mean, but those descriptions don’t quite get at the character – the feel and vibe – that permeates the place. It may be difficult to define, but you can experience the essence of that character on a sun-blasted day speeding down Silver Ridge with friends, strangers, kids, and couples all smiling and the high energy punctuated by the ring of a ski pole smacking the bell – those moments, when the mountain has the feel of a neighborhood block party where everyone has come out to play in the snow together, are frequent. Some of that character that defines 49 is visible in the fresh tracks laid down in the acres of glades that seem to grow their own powder, and you can hear it in the hoots of joy echoing through the trees. At the end of the day, you can taste a bit of the distilled spirit of 49 and hear it in the brighteyed laughter in the Boomtown Bar, where it often seems as if everybody really does know everyone else’s name. This authentic, community ski hill feel has per16
Out There Monthly / January 2014
sisted even as 49 has grown up to be the second largest ski resort in Washington. And that’s no accident. Long before it became the resort we know and ski today, early skiers on the mountain carved the first runs out of the woods by hand with volunteer labor in the mid-30’s. They organized the Chewelah Peak Ski Club, constructed a warming hut, and built the first “lift” out of a Dodge car engine that kept volunteers busy hauling cans of gas up the mountain. It was an all-out community effort that sparked a unique synergy between the ski hill and the local community in Chewelah, and it propelled the once small ski hill down the track that has helped it succeed and grow even as the local community and ski industry have changed around it. Improvements over the years, including the expansion into Sunrise Basin in 2006 and Angel Peak in 2012, which added two new lifts and hundreds of acres, have boosted 49’s stats: 6 chairlifts, 2,325 acres, 1,851 vertical, and a 301” average annual snowfall. Along the way, with new owners and new generations of skiers and riders making the mountain their own, 49 has managed to expand and evolve while still holding onto the grassroots community spirit it was founded on. This is rare and notable and is something people pick up on and revel in once they’ve put in enough turns and time on the mountain. Gary Deaver, 49’s Ski Patrol and Mountain Operations Manager, is a long-time local with 31 years of working the slopes under his belt. He knows the mountain and the ski area operations inside and out and has watched 49 develop a bit of a reputation for its expansive gladed terrain. “Over the last several seasons, I have found that people are so enamored with our tree skiing that on a powder day everybody makes a run then
Photos courtsey of 49 degrees north Mountain Resort. Top Right: 49’s legondary Glades. Bottom right: The friendly charm is contagious
heads for the trees before the open stuff is really skied up.” Deaver notes that well-spaced resort tree skiing like this doesn’t happen on its own. “From one side of the mountain to the other, whenever we develop a new basin or area, serious thought has gone into the glading of the trees alongside the groomed runs,” he says. From the glades to the groomers, 49 is a skier’s mountain. The regulars who drive up from Spokane and the locals who head up to the hill from their homes in the valleys have a palpable passion for skiing. It’s obvious in the energy on a powder day, but it’s also evident in the locals who show up to ski whatever ma nature throws down, from dust to crust, boilerplate to blower, from opening day to the end of the season. Deaver embodies that ‘be here now, ski here now’ attitude that seems to be the reigning philosophy of many dedicated 49 locals: “If you can’t find pleasure in the skiing that you have in front of you on that day, and sometimes it can be hard to do, then you probably best be finding something else to do. I know that sounds trite, but a bad day of skiing still trumps a good day doing
almost anything else. I have skied since I was 6 years old and still don’t find it boring. Every day is different.” Yes 49 is a family friendly resort, and yes it has a unique, small ski hill charm that is real, tangible, and rooted in history. It has long, smooth groomers for cruising; is susceptible to regular Selkirk Mountain powder dumps; and offers up some of the best tree skiing around. But the full spirit of 49, something greater than the sum of these characteristics that keeps skiers coming back year after year, remains difficult to explain or define. Longtime locals like Deaver know that they have something special beneath their boots, and they have watched some of the mountain’s magic rub off on generations of the growing 49 Degrees North family. “The one thing that they would all have in common is that intangible thing that made them a ‘49er’. We still struggle to this day to define what makes a ‘49er’; however, everybody who has been here for a while knows it exists. They just can’t define it, and I don’t think that it is up to me to try.” //
Alpine Skiing /boarding Special Section |
On The Mountain
Ski Bum Advice: 10 signs you need new Boots
Retro Ski Pass Contest Got a classic ski pass pic that stakes out a slope style from a bygone era that’s worthy of sharing with the masses? We’ll publish our favorites in upcoming issues of Out There Monthly and dish out lift tickets and other wintersports swag to winners. Send a high-res photo or scan of your classic ski pass to email@example.com. Kent Bacon, 1986-1987 49 Degrees North In his words “Snowboard Certification Pass #6 for Kent Bacon at 49* North showing you could pass a test to snowboard. They were the only mountain at the time to allow snowboarding. That was when mountains weren’t quite sure about us snowboarders! Look at it now!”
Back when I was going through college on the 8-year plan, I paid the bills and satisfied my gear addiction by working as a boot fitter at a couple of local ski shops. After a few years of service in this highly esteemed profession, I came to a few realizations. One, I needed to finish college as quickly as possible and get a real job. Two, breathing through my mouth eight hours a day so I did not have to smell “foot funk” made me sound like Forrest Gump. And three, skiers are extremely particular when it comes to ski boots. Once your boots are dialed in, getting rid of them is right up there with having your dog put to sleep. For those of you who are unsure as to whether or not you need new boots, here are 10 signs to look for: 1. Your boot fitter hides when he sees you walk in to the shop. You both know that there is not going to be “one more season” on your boots, since there have already been seven of those. 2. While standing in the lift line, you hear folks whispering such things as “vintage,” “oldschool,” “classic,” and “museum” to name a few. 3. Other skiers heckle you when you ski beneath the chair lift. “Hey man – Gene Simmons called and he wants his boots back!” 4. You carry a roll of duct tape labeled “Boots.” 5. You have to buckle your boots so tight that you can’t feel your feet, and it takes until June for the circulation to return to normal. 6. When you Google “Replacement Salomon SX-91 Rear-Entry Boots,” the only hit you get says “Seriously?” 7. You have not had toenails since the late 20th century. 8. If your chairlift partner asks how you like your boots, you mutter through clenched teeth: “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.”
Frank Marmo, 1978-1979, 49 Degrees North
9. Your boots are so packed out that you have to wear 3 pairs of socks, 2 of which are thick cotton and are made by Fruit of the Loom.
Andy Berg, 1982-1983, Schweitzer
10. You liken the experience of getting new boots to visiting a proctologist – and mean it. //
This month’s Retro Ski Pass Contest winners scored lift tickets courtesy of 49 degrees north mt resort!
My life as a ski racing mom //
“I had no idea what ski racing was!” says Carol Waldenberg, who spent seven years as a ski racing mom, committing substantial money and time to support her two daughters. “I put my daughter in the intro class and had no idea what the steps to racing were. If I could go back and do anything differently, I would have started her in the racing part of the program the second year instead of keeping her in intro for two years.” Carol, who grew up skiing in Montana, knew that the ski team would allow her daughters to “meet others who love to ski” and help them to become advanced skiers. “Coaches are committed to the athletes. The value is worth it to start your family on the path of a sport for a lifetime,” she says. But their success depended on her full commitment to the program. Carol lost sleep and lost weekends to the mountain, especially as her daughters got older and every Saturday and Sunday were committed to the team. But what she
Brad Northrup spent nearly a decade working in the ski industry. He eventually gave up ski boot sniffing.
By Amy Silbernagel McCaffree
gained was quality time with her kids and a wealth of winter memories. One time, they drove all the way up the mountain and realized they forgot one of the girl’s ski pants. Carol’s save-the-day solution: “We went over to the kids’ ski school and found some to borrow. They were too big, but I was happy to simply have some.”
right back up the mountain and continue her day. I thought it best to let her be…[she was] hard core. I was proud of her!” As a single mother, the buck stopped with Carol every time – from gear checklists to snacks and transportation. “The truth of my life is none of this would have happened if I didn’t risk to change my life, my
Carol didn’t encourage her daughters to start ski racing to become the next Lindsey Vonn. The greatest benefits were “seeing both my daughters create their own success…” She saw her daughters learn perseverance and mental fortitude. What might have been major drama was a lesson in personal resolve. For example, one daughter “peed her pants at the age of nine,” Carol says. “She was so determined to go
career path. I worked for a pharmaceutical corporation for 16 years and traveled a lot. As a single mom, I chose to step away from [a career with] no time for freedom and made a choice of living a quality life with my daughters. My professional
marketing career, representing the world’s largest nutritional company (Isagenix), has afforded me this independence,” she says. “Let’s face it. Most families can’t invest the time and money to commit to the ski racing game. [Those who do] are the lucky ones – the ones with the finances to make it happen and the time to commit to taking their kids to the mountain.” Carol didn’t encourage her daughters to start ski racing to become the next Lindsey Vonn. The greatest benefits were “seeing both my daughters create their own success…it’s different for all kids! And it gave me time to ski with adults,” she says. Her advice to parents: “Be prepared for happy days and sad days. Remind kids that the opportunity for growth is individual and not to compare themselves against others. Youth ski racing gives parents the opportunity to give of their time and finances for many years if their kids want to excel and go for the big time!” //
The waldenbergs living and loving the ski racing life.
January 2014 / Out There Monthly
LastPage Talking like a skier
Gaper’s Guide to Ski Lingo // By Brad Naccarato With any sport, there evolves a lingo, slang or code that helps to define its culture. The skiing and snowboarding world is no exception. Over the years, ski-speak, as some call it, has evolved into somewhat of a language of its own, with each new generation of skiers and riders adding more and more phrases to an ever-expanding vocabulary. Recently, while attending an industry event at Mission Ridge, I was engaged in a short conversation with the guy sitting next to me on the chair that went something like this: “Hey, what’s the snow like up on the ridge?” I ask. “Dude, it’s pretty gnarred up…but really bony up there too – if you stay skiers’ left, you can totally smash a few fresh lines. But the lower glade just below the big cornie is super tight – with the flat light and this chowder, you might eat wood,” he replies. Hmmmm. That sounds good, I thought. Or wait. Maybe that’s not so good. I wasn’t completely sure. “Hey, thanks man,” I say. “Yeah, I’ll probably just head down. I think I’m supposed to meet someone…um… for something,” I add, not wanting to appear obviously confused by the somewhat cryptic exchange. As an ex-ski bum who is now rapidly approaching the big four-zero, there was a time not so long ago when
Out There Monthly / January 2014
I was very fluent in the ski speak of my era. But as those days have moved farther into the rear view mirror, I have slowly transitioned into that skier type that true ski bums detest: the aging weekend warrior who is no longer capable of holding his own in casual ski speak with the dirt bag locals. I knew then that it was time to reconnect with some of my bum brahs from the past, some of whom are still living the dream. I knew they held the knowledge to unlock the code and re-educate me to a level of competent ski culture fluency. Just as learning the proper fundamentals of skiing and riding is critical, I believe that attempting to grasp the unique vocabulary that makes this sport so special is also important. Sounding like you’re in the know, or at least attempting to fake it when you’re hanging with the locals, can save you from becoming totally lost in a random, base lodge conversation or worse, completely embarrassing yourself. Knowledge is power and basic jargon is priceless – it’s street cred for up on the hill. The following list details a few of my favorite skispeak terms and phrases in alphabetical order – some are old school and others newly learned by me: Après Ski: Literally means “after ski,” but really refers to the nightly booze/dance party assault which
can do way more damage to your body than a day on the snow. Bombing: Going downhill at a stupid-fast rate of speed without regard for your own body. Or anyone else’s body. Bony: Early or late season conditions featuring a slew of wood and rock landmines under your skis. Brah or Bra: Synonymous with “bro.” A fraternal/ plutonic expression between males bonded through testosterone based experiences. Bulletproof: Compacted, icy snow that’s literally hard enough to ricochet bullets. Bunny: A female skier who appears to be more concerned with whether her boots and gloves match than actually skiing. Chowder: Chopped/skied up snow + powder = chowder = the exact opposite of effortless. Cornie: Short for cornice, which is an overhanging edge of snow on a ridge or the crest of a mountain with a sharp drop below. Death Cookies: Icy chunks of snow that cover the run like evil gremlins waiting to grab your ski edge. Eat Wood: This is what happens when a skier or rider gets to meet a tree up close. Face Shot: A somewhat rare and cosmic event that occurs when the powder is so deep that the snow hits you in the face with each turn. Line: A natural line of descent between two points on a slope. Flat Light: Grey skies and dim light that can create vertigo and/or make terrain changes seem like a surprise attack. Freshies: Untracked powder. Gaper: Any unstylish or ill-advised novice who stands out (albeit unintentionally) as being completely clueless. Gaper Gap: That giant, unmistakable gap of forehead flesh typically visible between a gaper’s helmet
and goggles. Glade: Heavily treed areas that are still skiable. Gnar: A shortened version of the word gnarly, meaning either a place or activity that is high on the scale of dangerousness and coolness or used to refer to quality snow that one intends to shred. Jibber: Someone who skis rails, boxes, and other features around the mountain. Also referred to as a “park rat.” Pow: Short for freshly fallen powder snow. Ripper: An accomplished and impressive skier or rider. Dirt Bag: One who lives to ski or ride and avoids anything that isn’t skiing or riding, often including work. Also known as a ski bum. Smash: Meaning to ski or ride, but only if you’re a ripper. Not applicable to gapers/spores/novices. Often used in place of “shred” or “killing it.” Yard Sale: A major fall in which a gaper/spore loses his or her skis, gloves, hat and poles across the run. Spore: Stupid + People + on + Rental + Equipment = Spore. I swear I’m not making this stuff up. Steazy: Style + Ease = Steaz. For example, Olympic athlete Shawn White is the reigning godfather of steaz. Although this isn’t an all-inclusive guide, I hope you’ve learned a few new words that you can casually slip into your skiing/riding vocabulary this season. Maybe you’ve always been able to walk the walk on the mountain, but now you have the opportunity to learn to talk the talk. If you want to master the art of speaking like a skier, I recommend starting slowly. Try sprinkling these little gems into your next conversation on the lift ride up. With a little luck, some perseverance, and a lot of steaz, you just might be smashing the gnar by the end of the season. //
One good turn deserves another.
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